External Applications in Anthroposophic Nursing

Arnica Compress for Neuralgic Pain

Kind of substance

Arnica essence

Guiding principle for the application

Moist-warm arnica compresses can quickly relieve the pain of neuralgic complaints. Arnica first takes the edge off the pain and then calms the inflammation. It promotes the restructuring of the affected tissue through this healing process.

Guiding Principle for the substance


  • Herpes zoster neuralgia
  • Neuralgic pain
  • Neuralgic pain caused by chemotherapy
  • Dental pain


In the case of very painful herpes zoster, the patient will not tolerate a compress. Instead, you can spray arnica essence diluted 1:10 onto the affected area (e.g. measure with the cap of the arnica essence bottle: mix 1 bottle cap of essence with 9 bottle caps of water), then cover with a light cloth if necessary (spray heads can be purchased in pharmacies).


  • Arnica essence
  • Water (approx. 40°C or 104°F)
  • A small bowl
  • A lightweight cotton cloth, alternative: non-sterile gauze
  • A lightweight cloth for covering

  • Mix 250 ml of water with 1 tablespoon of arnica essence in the bowl
  • The water temperature should be body temperature when applied.
  • Dip the cotton cloth into the bowl, do not wring it out too much, place it on the painful part of the body, cover with a light cloth so that the patient does not cool down (any pressure increases the pain).
  • If possible, leave the compress on for 30 minutes, then remove it and allow the patient to rest for another 30 minutes.

Discard the cotton cloth/gauze (to avoid risk of infection)
Wash the covering cloth when required at 60°C (140°F)

Well-proven in many patients
2 x daily, more often if needed
Onset of effect
Length of therapy
For herpes: as long as the skin forms herpes blisters.
Other recommended therapies
  • Once the skin has healed, you can apply Aconite Nerve Oil (WALA) if pain occurs
  • In general, additional medication is indicated
Exercise caution in case of an arnica allergy

Instructions to download

Case example

A young woman with herpes zoster on her left thorax was in unbearable pain. Spraying it with lukewarm Arnica Essence (diluted 1:10) brought relief. She could not wear clothes directly on her skin, so she first covered the affected area with a silk cloth and then pulled her clothes over it. The zoster healed with the help of anthroposophic medication.


US, Red.